Medical assistants, nurses, and transportation workers in the healthcare sector play a crucial role in the running of a hospital. Often, they are the first ones to report for duty and are the last ones to leave. They work for extended hours caring for those who need medical attention. However, they too can get injured in the process. Healthcare professionals who are prone to work-related injuries include medical assistants, nursing staff, nursing home aid workers, hospital patient transportation workers, PT/OT and physical therapist aides and EMT and paramedics.
There are many ways in which a healthcare professional can get injured at the workplace. Healthcare workers have to reposition, lift, and shift patients, and with more and more patients being obese, the chances of a worker getting injured are high. A large number of healthcare workers get musculoskeletal disorders and injuries at a rate higher than that even in the mining and construction industries.
Slips and falls are common types of injuries suffered by healthcare workers. Grease, water, and spilled fluids can cause a worker to slip and lose balance. Falls often cause disabling injuries that may have life-changing consequences. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare professionals are 90 percent more prone to injuries from slips, trips, and falls compared to workers in any other industry. It is the second largest cause of injury, ranking next only to overexertion induced injuries.
As for any employee who is injured on the job or develops a work-related illness, workers’ compensation may provide benefits that pay for medical expenses and lost wages. It is important to know that you cannot be fired or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim based on your hospital injury. General rules require you to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Although your employer cannot claim you were negligent and responsible for your own injury, depending on the status of your employment, the hospital may argue that you are an independent contractor and not covered by workers’ compensation or that your injury was not work-related.
Patients suffering from dementia or the side effects of medications may become violent and attack their caregivers. Nurses are frequently the victims of assault. Because of these hazards, you may suffer from serious injuries including, but not limited to, sprains, strains, broken bones, infections, and open wounds. These injuries and illnesses will require medical treatment and time away from work. Because the incident that caused the injury occurred at work, you should receive workers’ comp benefits to cover your losses.
The New York workers’ comp board or your self-insured employer may look for any excuse to deny your workers’ comp claim and assume that you will back down and accept whatever decision they make. You have too much at stake to do this.
In some cases, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may employ a nurse case manager to assist the injured worker with these tasks. It is important that the injured worker understands his or her rights during the workers’ compensation process and the limits of the nurse case manager’s role.
The majority of nurse case managers are registered nurses, and they act as a medical case worker. They may, with the patient’s permission, attend doctors’ and hospital appointments and communicate with the patient and the authorized physician about the patient’s treatment.
A nurse case manager is responsible for helping an injured worker to obtain the medical care that he or she needs; serving as a liaison between all parties involved in the workers’ compensation claim, including doctors, the injured worker, the employer and the insurance company; providing information to an insurance adjuster regarding doctors’ visits and treatment authorization.
At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.
HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights